“No Unions Allowed”: Amazon Suppresses Potential “Oppositionist” Employees
USA – October 2, 2018
As Whole Foods is now part of Amazon’s Business Empire, the new order for its employees has been established by the new rulers. In particular, the monopolist doesn’t want to allow Whole Foods employees to gather into professional labor unions to protect their rights in case they are fired or discriminated against by their employer.
A special video created by Amazon officials for Whole Foods workers plainly explains why organizing in a union is a bad idea.
“Unions pose a threat to the direct connection. We are not anti-union, but we are not neutral either,” states an animated character from the Amazon video.
“We do not believe unions are in the best interest of our customers, our shareholders, or most importantly, our associates,” the character says, making clear the company’s position regarding the formation of professional unions. The only question left is, how are Whole Foods workers supposed to defend their rights, if the company they work for is completely against it?
Interestingly, while Amazon doesn’t formally prohibit the formation of professional unions, it strictly does not recommend its supervisors and managers to join them, so, basically, any high-ranking employee could be fired for it.
Yet, since the culture of unions is still strong in the U.S., the company doesn’t want to confront it openly, saying, “Amazon prefers a mild opinion expressed strongly. We frequently and proudly remind associates of the values of a direct working relationship, but we avoid anti-union rhetoric.”
It also suggests that managers use their own experiences so to propagate the idea that unions don’t guarantee better working conditions and higher payment. The video also references General Motors as an example of how a business couldn’t stay competitive with unions.
As the wave of criticism against Amazon labor union policies was growing, the company was forced to respond, stating that it was misunderstood: “At Amazon, we respect the individual rights of associates and have an open-door policy that encourages associates to bring their comments, questions and concerns directly to their management team. We firmly believe this direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the needs of our workforce.”
Commenters at the 4chan.org board are much more honest in the discussion, stating, for instance:
Do Americans just ignore all the successes that first world countries have with unions? You'd think the U.S. would be more educated about working your life away, yet they still drink the koolaid. Guess it's just another of those “republicans want more money to hoarding at the top, gut a program for it, and use that corpse as a reason it never worked in the first place”. Guess none of you “true Americans” take vacations or work less than 40 hours a week, right? Wouldn't want to take what the unions gave you, that would make you a *gasp* commie!!
Thus, after this leak it would be very difficult for Amazon to pose as a “union-friendly” organization, which could have several negative consequences, first of all, from company clients who sympathize with such ideas.